Today's guest blogger is Cory Howard. Cory is a 8th grade math teacher with Maconaquah School Corporation. Mr. Cory Howard is also a member of the 2012 Learn-Zillion Dream Team.
Learn-Zillion is a learning platform that combines video lessons, assessments, and progress reporting. Each lesson highlights a Common Core standard, starting with math in grades 3-9.
The website www.learnzillion.com is free for any teacher, student, or parent. Once you create a free account, you can access over 2,000 videos lesson. The website is very user friendly and easy to navigate. Each lesson is developed using a consistent and coherent format. Every lesson is developed around an initial hook and objective. The lesson also includes a review of backgrounds skills and also addresses common mistakes that students may make. From there, the lesson continues with the core lesson. Math and English lessons have slightly different features that maximize the learning experience for the given concept.
For the students:
An English lesson comes with a 3-5 minute core lesson video. It also includes a read aloud, where the reading passage for a given lesson is read aloud to the student.
For the teachers and parents:
An English lesson has the core lesson video, read aloud, and an additional 2 minute coaches commentary where the teachers talk to the adult about the lesson. Many of the English lessons include an anchor text, which is a reading passage used throughout multiple lessons. The lesson also includes a practice text and assessment text that compliment the original lesson and anchor text. In addition to the coach's commentary, the slideshow used to create the core lesson is available for free download.
A math lesson comes with a 3-5 minute core
lesson video. It also has a 1 minute guided practice video so that students may practice the concepts they just learned.
For the teachers and parents:
A math lesson has the core lesson video, guided practice video, and an additional 2 minute coach's commentary where the teachers talk to the adult about the lesson. In addition to the coach's commentary, the slideshow used to create the core lesson is available for free download.
As a classroom teacher, I use the website in multiple ways. I use the video and slideshows for whole group instruction in my regular math classes. In addition to my regular classes, I have a small remediation class in which I work on fundamentals in math and English. The site is a wonderful resource for me to individualize instruction. First I can create student logins and assign them instructional videos and monitor their progress through completion reports and assessments all available at the Learn-Zillion website. One of the best parts in my opinion, is the website saves me time and improves my teaching when I am working with students in English. As a math teacher I am by no means an expert in teaching English. I watch the videos of how another teacher might present the content, and then use that very slideshow from the video lesson. I then proceed to teach the same lesson to my small group. Having this resource is great for me! As a math teacher with 10 years experience, Learn-Zillion improves the quality and efficiency in which I can teach my students when working with unfamiliar concepts. I believe this website would be a great asset for all teachers including beginning teachers, substitute teachers, and parents.
One of my goals for the second half of the school year is to use the website to FLIP THE CLASSROOM. Using the core lesson videos and slide shows, I intend to have students explore a lesson and then, in return, present their version of the lesson as they assume the role of teacher.
OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
Learn-Zillion offers simple quick codes for any student to access without an account. As a teacher you can create a calendar and share it with parents to inform them of the skills and standards you will be working on in the classroom. Parents and students then can work together at home on concepts that are being taught in the classroom.
IN THE FUTURE
Look for new lessons in the coming school year for grades 2-12, as Learn-Zillion extends its digital curriculum. In addition to increased grade levels, Learn-Zillion is also working on developing Spanish version of the lesson to better meet student and parent needs.
Go to Learn-Zillion, setup a free account, and explore the website. Implement the website within one of your lessons and share the website with colleagues and parents.